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JUSTIN MARTYR: Chapter CIII.—The Pharisees are the...
Chapter CIII.—The Pharisees are the bulls: the roaring lion is Herod or the devil.
“Then what is next said in the Psalm—For trouble is near, for there is none to help me. Many calves have compassed me; fat bulls have beset me round. They opened their mouth upon me as a ravening and roaring lion. All my bones are poured out and dispersed like water,—was likewise a prediction of the events which happened to Him. For on that night when some of your nation, who had been sent by the Pharisees and Scribes, and teachers, 2341 came upon Him from the Mount 2342 of Olives, those whom Scripture called butting and prematurely destructive calves surrounded Him. And the expression, Fat bulls have beset me round, He spoke beforehand of those who acted similarly to the calves, when He was led before your teachers. And the Scripture described them as bulls, since we know that bulls are authors of calves existence. As therefore the bulls are the begetters of the calves, so your teachers were the cause why their children went out to the Mount of Olives to take Him and bring Him to them. And the expression, For there is none to help, is also indicative of what took place. For there was not even a single man to assist Him as an innocent person. And the expression, They opened their mouth upon me like a roaring lion, p. 251 designates him who was then king of the Jews, and was called Herod, a successor of the Herod who, when Christ was born, slew all the infants in Bethlehem born about the same time, because he imagined that amongst them He would assuredly be of whom the Magi from Arabia had spoken; for he was ignorant of the will of Him that is stronger than all, how He had commanded Joseph and Mary to take the Child and depart into Egypt, and there to remain until a revelation should again be made to them to return into their own country. And there they did remain until Herod, who slew the infants in Bethlehem, was dead, and Archelaus had succeeded him. And he died before Christ came to the dispensation on the cross which was given Him by His Father. And when Herod succeeded Archelaus, having received the authority which had been allotted to him, Pilate sent to him by way of compliment Jesus bound; and God foreknowing that this would happen, had thus spoken: And they brought Him to the Assyrian, a present to the king. 2343 Or He meant the devil by the lion roaring against Him: whom Moses calls the serpent, but in Job and Zechariah he is called the devil, and by Jesus is addressed as Satan, showing that a compounded name was acquired by him from the deeds which he performed. For Sata in the Jewish and Syrian tongue means apostate; and Nas is the word from which he is called by interpretation the serpent, i.e., according to the interpretation of the Hebrew term, from both of which there arises the single word Satanas. For this devil, when [Jesus] went up from the river Jordan, at the time when the voice spake to Him, Thou art my Son: this day have I begotten Thee, 2344 is recorded in the memoirs of the apostles to have come to Him and tempted Him, even so far as to say to Him, Worship me; and Christ answered him, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and Him only shalt thou serve. 2345 For as he had deceived Adam, so he hoped 2346 that he might contrive some mischief against Christ also. Moreover, the statement, All my bones are poured out 2347 and dispersed like water; my heart has become like wax, melting in the midst of my belly, was a prediction of that which happened to Him on that night when men came out against Him to the Mount of Olives to seize Him. For in the memoirs which I say were drawn up by His apostles and those who followed them, [it is recorded] that His sweat fell down like drops of blood while He was praying, and saying, If it be possible, let this cup pass: 2348 His heart and also His bones trembling; His heart being like wax melting in His belly: 2349 in order that we may perceive that the Father wished His Son really 2350 to undergo such sufferings for our sakes, and may not say that He, being the Son of God, did not feel what was happening to Him and inflicted on Him. Further, the expression, My strength is dried up like a potsherd, and my tongue has cleaved to my throat, was a prediction, as I previously remarked, of that silence, when He who convicted all your teachers of being unwise returned no answer at all.
καὶ τῶν διδασκάλων, adopted instead of κατὰ τὴν διδασκαλίαν, “according to their instructions.”250:2342
ἀπὸ τοῦ ὄρους. Justin seems to have supposed that the Jews came on Christ from some point of the hill while He was in the valley below. ᾽Επὶ τοῦ ὄρους and ἐπὶ τὸ ὄρος have been suggested.251:2343
Hos. x. 6.251:2344
Ps. ii. 7; Matt. iii. 17.251:2345
Matt. 4:9, 10.251:2346
Maranus says it is hardly to be doubted that Justin read, “I am poured out like water,” etc.251:2348
Luke 22:44, 42.251:2349
[Breast, rather. The (κοίλη) cavity of the nobler viscera.]251:2350
Justin refers to the opinion of the Docetes, that Christ suffered in appearance merely, and not in reality.
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